10 May 2023

Wik Warriors team up with Rio Tinto for refurb project

| Cape York Weekly
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THE Aurukun Wik Warriors program is working with mining company Rio Tinto to convert out-of-commission buildings to help establish a skills-based employment and training program and replica mining camp.

The repurposing of the Rio Tinto Weipa dongas will fulfil Wik Warriors’ need for operating facilities to establish the program.

Assistance to procure and repurpose the dongas for a mess, kitchen, accommodation and training rooms is being provided after a successful application to the Rio Tinto sponsorship and donations program.

The Wik Warriors are aiming to build on the existing training and employment model that has been successfully delivered by RESET (previously known as Kapani) in the community over the past three years.

A focus of the program is to work with communities and agencies to harness community strengths and work collaboratively to create a highly skilled local workforce.

The project will create a specific training venue for locals seeking pre-employment training and work readiness in preparation for careers in mining.

There is a large bauxite deposit around Aurukun, which is likely to be mined in the coming decades.

The camp will replicate many aspects of on-site living and help prepare participants for work.

“Having inspected the dongas, we were extremely impressed by their potential and capacity to fulfil a significant need for program participants and the broader Aurukun community,” said Dr Tim White, the director of RESET.

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